New Audio: The Spectral and Aching, Alternate Version of Pom Poms’ “Betty”

Comprised of singer/songwriter Marlene and Grammy-nominated producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Billy Mohler, who is probably best known for his work with Awolnation, Liz Phair, Kelly Clarkson, and Macy Gray, the Los Angeles-based duo Pom Poms have been thrust into the national spotlight for a sound that owes a debt from classic garage rock and pop such as Connie Francis, Pasty Cline, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash, the girl groups of the early 60s and others —  but with a subtly modern twist that makes the sound seem as though it could have been part of a a Quentin Tarantino film.

The duo’s debut single “Betty” first gained the attention across the blogosphere for a subtly scuzzy, lo-fi-like garage-based guitar rock sound that would make you think of the aforementioned Roy Robison and Buddy Holly the song possesses a similar urgent and swooning Romanticism. The heartache expressed by Marlene’s aching vocals is a heartache that we all have known at some point — being desperately in love with a fickle and thoughtless lover, who you know will inevitably break your heart.

The duo recently released a hushed and spectral alternate version that features Marlene’s vocals paired with a sparse arrangement that includes a subtly Bossa Nova guitar line that makes the song sound as though it were indebted to Patsy Cline — in particular, think of “Crazy” and “Walkin After Midnight.” And as a result, the alternate version aches with a desperate loneliness.